IRC Q & A: Grant van Niekerk
“Magic in his hands!”
South African, Grant van Niekerk, has just turned 30 and he’s approaching 1000 career winners. His career only started blossoming five or six years ago when he found his confidence and perhaps realised how good he is – and since then his star has been on the rise.
Grant, during two spells in the awesomely competitive Hong Kong circuit, proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he is world-class, riding 80 winners.
His talent was best described by multiple champion trainer Justin Snaith, who said in a post-race interview that he is jockey with “magic in his hands”. He is a good judge of pace, fearless in a race and horses ‘run for him’, like they do for the likes of Franke Dettori, Joao Moreira the US sensation, Irad Ortiz jr.
Here is our snap Q and A with Grant van Niekerk, who has a full card of rides at Durbanville tomorrow and will again be fancied to win a few races.
- Full name? Grant van Niekerk
- Date Of Birth: 30/06/1991
- Fav Holiday destination: I enjoy Mauritius
- Merc or BMW? BMW
- What inspires you most? My kids
- Right-handed or left-handed? Right-handed
- What do you find most annoying? Politics, and bad media
- Cape Met or Durban July: Actually, the Queens Plate is my favourite race
- Biggest phobia? Snakes
- Colts or fillies? Love both equally. Although more success with fillies.
- Proudest moment? Becoming a dad
- Star sign? Cancer
- Read or Netflix? Netflix and chill
- Biggest supporters? My family, we are close
- Best filly I’ve ridden? Oh Susanna and Inara were both top class
- Best Colt? Linebacker (Best yet to come)
- Best sprinter? Rio Querari
- Funniest guy in the weighing room? Jason Smitsdorff.
- Ambition, now? I’d like to get back riding abroad in due course.
- Nominate someone for our Q and A next? Richard Fourie
Horse to Watch?